Paris – PARIS – Following weeks of protests against labor bills which people saw as threatening making it easier for hiring and firing much easier, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced on Tuesday that the French government decided to sidestep parliament and impose a relaxation of the country’s protective labor laws by decree, avoiding a rebellion against President Francois Hollande’s flagship reforms.
Known as 49.3, the rarely used clause in France’s constitution permits for reform by decree and features the strong powers wielded by the executive under France’s presidential system, designed by World War Two leader Charles de Gaulle. Mentioning that this is not the first time that Valls has used the clause, remarking this as the 2nd in many years.
However, PM Valls responded to lawmakers to heckling from some quarters and applause among ministers that the cabinet has authorized him to engage the government’s responsibility, which he will do later, stressing that the country has got to move forward.
Noting that the government’s decision showing no will to compromise in regard of cutting down the labor bill strongly hints for international investors who have so far taken a cautious welcoming approach towards Hollande’s pro-business turn.
As for the decision, Laurent Baumel, a rebel Socialist lawmaker described it as “anti-democratic,” the latter added “It’s a heavy-handed way of using the constitution to prevent the nation’s representatives from having their say”.